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Gender Equality and Diversity

Action Plan 2013–16: Equal Opportunity Toolkit

This page presents the activities with transfer potential that have been adopted by the faculties under the first Gender Equality Action Plan. Each of these activities with transfer potential has been allocated to a "domain for action."

If, however, transfer potential is not your main focus but you would like an overview of all the projects and activities implemented under the action plan, please go to Action Plan 2013–16: The Projects.

Domains for Action and Corresponding Actions

By clicking on the title of the domain for action, you will find further details on that domain and a table displaying actions with transfer potential.

Domain for Action 1: Data Collection and Studies

The aim here is to create basic principles that will lead on to knowledge-based action.

Action Contact / Name of project Further Information
Appointment of assistant professors Capturing data on applications, invitations, list positions, appointments UZH 2003-2014 (not complete for all faculties). Evaluated according to gender.

After an assistant professorship

Analysis of the career development of all those holding an assistant professorship at UZH between 2000 and 2014. Evaluated according to gender.
Self-monitoring at faculty level Data is collected on an ongoing basis in terms of key indicators in the professorial appointment procedure, promotions among professorial staff, awards for students, etc. 
“Maybe Baby” study Experimental studies of the possible consequences of being (or potentially becoming) a mother on the chances for women to establish themselves in the labor market.
Study on the context factors affecting an academic career A climate study, as is widespread at US universities. Do men/women, parents/non-parents all feel equally happy at Swiss universities?
Study on the salaries of male and female professors
  • Prof. Dr. Katja Rost
  • Gender Equality Commission
  • Research Budget, Social Capital, and Gender at UZH.
A comparative evaluation of the salaries and length of time leading up to the promotion of male and female professors provides the basis for correcting unsatisfactory cases as well as for taking specific action to avoid further problems.   
Publication: Challenging the “leaky pipeline” in faculties of medicine
  • Dean's Office, Faculty of Medicine

Subject: Careers in academic medicine. Overview of the action plan activities in four Swiss faculties of medicine.


Domain for Action 2: Leadership Roles in Academia

These actions address the distribution and exercise of power in academic organizations.

Action Contact / Name of project Further Information
Continuing education opportunities with a focus on gender competence
  • Office for Continuing Education
  • Inclusion of Awareness-Raising Topics Regarding Gender...
In a continuing education program for members of the University in leadership roles, modules on “Diversity Management” and “A Leader’s Responsibility for Academic Career Development” were designed and held.
Composition of the professorial appointment committee In order to maintain a fair share of female faculty members in key areas of university business, the faculty introduced a ruling that in each professorial appointment committee at least two female faculty members must have a seat.  


Domain for Action 3: Career Development

These actions support academic career development from the perspective of equal opportunity.

Action Contact / Name of project Further Information
Protected research time
  • Dean's Office, Faculty of Medicine
  • Filling the Gap.
Junior academics are released from their duties in clinics for up to six months in order to have more time for research. Replacing staff in these clinics is financed by the funds awarded to this measure. 
Discussion guidelines for assistant professors (PDF, 121 KB)
  • Department of Business Administration
  • HR Professors (in German
  • Career and Life Phases of an Assistant Professorship.
The discussion guidelines for the progress meetings held every year between assistant professors and their deans provide the meetings with a structure and include an optional section on work-life integration subjects with a view to career development.
Brochure (in German) Vademecum: Beruflicher Werdegang und Karriereplanung für Studierende der Veterinärmedizin (2018) (PDF, 4 MB)
  • Dean's Office, Vetsuisse Faculty
  • Kids and Careers.
The “Vademecum” is a small booklet giving advice on the most important decisions facing veterinary doctors during their studies which will influence their entry into the profession. Topics include work-life integration. The booklet is published with a personal foreword by the Dean.


Domain for Action 4: Recruiting

These actions examine the professorial appointment procedure with a close look at equal opportunity.

Action Contact / Name of project Further Information

Recruiting for excellence 2018 (PDF, 972 KB)

The flyer is distributed among the commission members at the start of each professorial appointment procedure. It lays out the steps of the procedure and names the persons responsible for each phase. Reference is also made to the effect of unconscious bias. The flyer was originally created in 2015.
Creating a pool of applicants The faculty has added an extra section to the Statement on Professorial Position in which the commissions draw up a gender-balanced list of researchers worldwide to be considered for the advertised professorship. These individuals are then personally invited by the Dean to apply.  
Professorial job postings Professorial job posting texts are reviewed for terms and phrases that may lead to exclusion. In addition, all job postings must contain a standard sentence referring to equal opportunity.
One-page CV The one-page CV is a reference form drawn up by the faculty for all applicants taking part in the appointment procedure, developed to determine how much time each person has actively spent in academia. Only when it has been concluded how many “full-time years” applicants have been active in academia can each person’s performance be correctly compared.
Early setting of the selection criteria and their relative weighting Before evaluating applications, each professorial appointment committee sets out a detailed description of the evaluation criteria and their relative weighting. Both criteria and weighting are based on the Statement on Professorial Position and the professorial job posting.


Domain for Action 5: Unconscious Bias

These actions address the fact that gender discrimination is increasingly less obvious and conscious. Often, unintended discrimination takes place as a consequence of unconscious bias.

Action Contact / Name of project Further Information
Awareness training After holding pilot project workshops with external providers, the faculty designed its own courses that not only provide evidence-based knowledge on the subject but also invite participants to carry out practical exercises that have a direct relation to their professional daily life.
Checking applications on a criteria-related basis In addition to making an overall assessment of all correctly submitted applications, the professorial appointment committee also discusses applications received from women on the basis of previously specified criteria, in order to ensure that female applicants’ performance or potential for academic learning has not been overlooked.


Domain for Action 6: Visibility of Female Role Models in Academic Learning

This domain for action is designed to improve the perception of the performance of female academics within and outside of UZH.

Action Contact / Name of project Further Information

Gender balance at scholarly events

Requests to the Dean's office for funding contributions to academic events within the faculty can be made if 50% or more of the persons named in the program are women. This applies, for example, to department colloquiums, symposiums and lecture series. The events can be either internal or national/international.


Domain for Action 7: Integrating Studies, Profession, and Private Life

This action aims to achieve equal opportunities for mothers, fathers, and non-parents in academic learning.

Action Contact / Name of project Further Information
"Projekt Emeriti" (Staff planning in a clinical setting)
  • Dean's Office, Vetsuisse Faculty
  • Kids and Careers.
The special framework conditions for clinic work were examined from the perspective of work-life integration. Gaps arising due to parents fulfilling family obligations are filled by professors emeriti/emeritae.


Domain for Action 8: Institutional Structures

These actions serve to structurally embed equal opportunity issues at UZH.

Action Contact / Name of project Further Information
Faculty-Level Gender Equality Committee The faculty has set up an ad hoc Gender Equality Commission. The core duties of the committee are to advise and support the faculty and governing bodies on the following subjects: Appointments and promotions, raising awareness of equal opportunity subjects, developing solutions for dual-career couples, work-life integration.


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